Maryland officials reported Monday that the state confirmed 331 new cases of the coronavirus and six more deaths, marking the second consecutive day the state has seen less than 400 new cases.
As state and county officials continue to grapple with how and when to reopen businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan touted the declining numbers as reflective of his administration’s response to the outbreak.
It’s only the third time the state has reported fewer than 400 cases in a 24-hour period since April 7 and the lowest total since that date, when 326 new cases were confirmed.
With hospitalizations and testing positivity rates also declining slightly, Hogan wrote on Twitter that it has been a month since the state “began Stage One of our safe, gradual, and effective roadmap to recovery, and all of our key health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction.”
Hogan wrote that the number of people in intensive care units diagnosed with the disease has dropped below 300 for the first time since April 6 and that the state’s testing positivity rate stands at 6.55%.
Monday’s additions bring the state’s total to 62,032 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and 2,817 people who have died due to the disease or complications from it.
As of Monday, 745 people in Maryland are hospitalized due to complications from COVID-19, a decrease of six people compared to Sunday. Monday also marked the 19th consecutive day the state has seen hospitalizations drop.
Prince George’s and Montgomery counties continue to lead the state in total cases, with 17,400 and 13,657, respectively, representing a little more than half of all confirmed cases in the state. While the two counties continue to see higher positive testing rates than other counties, they’ve also seen their rates decrease at a similar pace as the rest of the state since May.
As of Sunday, the latest data available from the state, Prince George’s County has a positivity rate of 9.88% and Montgomery County was at 8.06%.
The state’s Hispanic population continues to contract the disease at a disproportionately high rate compared with other demographics. More than a quarter of all confirmed COVID-19 cases, 16,834, were in Hispanic patients, despite the fact that they represent 10.4% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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This does not account for the fact that the state does not have demographic data on about one out of every six diagnosed cases.
The 20783 ZIP code — which includes parts of Hyattsville, Adelphi and Langley Park in Prince George’s County and is majority Hispanic, according to censusreporter.org — leads the state in total cases with 2,106 as of Monday.
Black Maryland residents continue to lead the state in total COVID-19 cases, with 17,767 as of Monday, despite the fact that they represent 30.9% of the state’s population.
For comparison, state officials have confirmed 12,069 cases of COVID-19 in white patients, a demographic that constitutes 58.8% of Maryland’s population.
While Maryland’s totals have shown signs of recent progress, some officials worry that reopening businesses and allowing large crowds to gather too soon could reignite a new wave of cases.
Last week, Hogan’s top health adviser, Dr. Tom Inglesby, pushed back on the state’s plan to reopen restaurants, gyms and malls, saying that it could erase progress on containing the virus’ spread in the state.
According to the New York Times, about 20 states across the country — some of which have started to reopen businesses — have seen recent growth in newly reported cases in recent weeks .